Recovering from a miscarriage first
Before you can think about trying again, you need to allow your body to recover. Bleeding usually stops within a week (if it does not, you should go back to your doctor or surgery) but you may also feel exhausted for a few days.
Depending on whether you had a spontaneous miscarriage or had to have treatment (a Dilation and Curettage (D&C), for example) to complete the process at hospital, your body’s natural hormone levels may take about a month to six weeks to return to normal.
Your periods may return as soon as 28 days after your miscarriage, as ovulation can occur after two weeks. However, this again will vary (it might return more quickly when you have had a D&C). Your cycle usually returns within a month to six weeks, but might take a couple of cycles to settle back to your regular routine.
There have been recent studies that suggest, if you feel ready, there are benefits to trying for a baby again within six months of miscarrying. However, there is no harm in taking long if your body needs more time, or you’re still recovering emotionally.
Having sex again
It is important not to have sex too soon. That is, not until the bleeding has stopped, as you are still recovering and intercourse could cause an infection. The NHS recommends you wait ideally until you have had a period after misccariage. But if you feel read before, you should still use contraception. There is no delayed time when your body ‘thinks’ it is still pregnant; you are now fertile again.
You may find having sex again brings up difficult connections related to your miscarriage and losing a baby. Try and communicate these to your partner. If you need more help, you may want to call Relate, a couples councelling organisation, on 0845 456 1310. Tommy’s charity also offers help to couples who have suffered a miscarriage.
How long should you wait being trying to get pregnant?
Many miscarriages occur randomly, but do talk to your GP or the consultant who treated you, about any possible concerns regarding your ongoing risk of having another miscarriage. (Any possible causes which can be ruled out or addressed, for example.)
It is possible to get pregnant straight away, though you will probably be far from mentally or physically ready for this. Waiting until your first period has come and gone (a month to six weeks) will help your GP arrive at a more accurate due date should you conceive again straight away.
Many health experts working in this field suggest waiting three to six months to enable your body and you (both) to prepare for the most positive experience next time round.
Even if you got pregnant ‘by accident’ or very quickly last time, do not worry if you do not get pregnant straight away when you start trying again. In any given month, a couple with no potential fertility problems and who are having regular sex, only have a 30% chance of getting pregnant. Your miscarriage will not have affected how long it takes for you to conceive, unless there is some other medical reason.
Fear that you will miscarry again
Couples who have no history of miscarriage or who’s last child was live born, have an 80% – 85% chance of a successful pregnancy. Those who have suffered one miscarriage also have an 80% chance of a successful pregnancy.
If you have had two miscarriages, there is a slightly greater risk (72%), and if you have had three miscarriages, your chances may be less than 50%.
However, after repeated episodes, your doctor will investigate possible causes and these may well be easily addressed. It is important to know that many couples who have suffered several losses go on to have healthy children.
The Miscarriage Association have valuable advice available on their website, where you can print off the leaflet: Thinking about another pregnancy.
Find out more about being pregnant after a miscarriage.